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The U.K. landscape varies wildly, from the snow-swept peaks of Ben Nevis to the tropical looking, white sandy beaches of Cornwall. It wasn’t for the weather, you’d probably never have to go abroad at all.
1. The Maldives?
Put away your passport (and your sun cream): this perfect white sandy shore is actually Seilebost Beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
2. Mont Blanc?
This is actually the Observatory Gully on Ben Nevis in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, it’s the highest mountain in the UK.
Good guess, but this is actually the quirky Portmerion Village in Gwynedd, North Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. If it looks familiar, that might be because it was used as the location for surreal 60s spy drama The Prisoner.
4. Ancient Greece?
No, this is Cornwall. The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea. The theatre is at Porthcurno, 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, England.
Nope, Cornwall again! St Michael’s Mount’s Cornish name means “grey rock in the woods”, and may represent a folk memory of a time before Mount’s Bay was flooded. The Cornish legend of Lyonesse, an ancient kingdom said to have extended from Penwith toward the Isles of Scilly, also talks of land being inundated by the sea.
This might look like a Mediterranean sun-trap, but it’s actually Achmelvich Beach in the Highlands of Scotland. Sutherland, to be precise.
You don’t have to go to the Pacific ocean to visit this reef-like inlet. It’s actually part of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Two miles to the north of Lizard Village lies the secluded Kynance Cove, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
8. South of France?
Although it looks Provence-like, the road signs and very British-looking onlookers clearly show that this picture-perfect village is actually in England. It’s called Cockington (stop sniggering) and it’s only a stone’s throw from Torquay in Devon.
This lookalike starts with the same letters, at least. This is Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall. The deep blue water is popular with surfers.
10. New Zealand?
This is actually a view from the top of the deliciously named Cheddar Gorge in Somerset’s Mendip Hills. No hobbits here!
This Taj Mahal style building is Brighton’s iconic Royal Pavilion. It was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811.
No, it’s not actually a location from a video game. This is the spectacular Smoo Cave in Durness, Sutherland (Scottish Highlands). The cave is unique within the UK in that the first chamber has been formed by the sea, and the inner chambers by rainwater.
Post by: HilaryWardle (BuzzFeed Contributor)
Please visit our England Tours for a wide range of escorted small group sightseeing tours of Britain
The Small Group Guided Tour Experts
English Castles 2 Day Tour – New exclusive tour for 2013
Travel into history on this 2 day private chauffeur driven English Castles Tour and experience the majesty England’s most famed and beautiful castles. English Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries. Noble Lords built castles to control the area immediately surrounding them, Castles were both offensive and defensive structures; they provided a base from which raids could be launched as well as protection from enemies. Although their military origins are often emphasised in castle studies, Castles also served as centres of administration and symbols of power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, and rural castles were often situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills and fertile land.
- Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.
- Wardour Castle Now a ruin, Wardour Castle was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment.
- Highclere Castle The Golden Globe winning Downton Abbey was brought to life at Highclere Castle. It sits on 1,000 acres of parkland and it has been the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon since 1679.
- Amberley Castle The luxury castle where you will spend the night. Hidden away for 900 years near the picturesque village of Amberley in the chalk South Downs, Amberley Castle is a magnificent historical treasure that offers a truly unique experience. Through the Portcullis and 60 ft curtain walls you will find beautiful landscaped gardens, fine examples of medieval architecture and an unrivalled atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
DAY 2 – 9am start (0930 weekends)
- Arundel Castle The seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, each having its own unique place in history and is home to priceless works of art.
- Leeds Castle Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, a visit to Leeds Castle in the garden of England is full of discovery. Visitors are transported through the castleʼs history; an eclectic mix of period architecture, with sumptuous interiors and family treasures.
- Hever Castle The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, it later passed into the ownership of Henryʼs fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
- Dover Castle Spectacularly situated above the White Cliffs on the Kent coastline this magnificent castle boasts
Chauffeur Driven Tour Chauffeur driven tours are a luxurious but affordable solution to sightseeing in style. We take you away from the crowded streets and buses on an intimate tour in a private vehicle, guided by your professional chauffeur, who gives you personal attention and courtesy throughout the experience, including hotel pick up/drop off and numerous photo opportunities, and of course a chance to savour each location at a more leisurely and intimate pace. Make no mistake, there is no better way to travel!
Overnight Tour Details: http://www.welcome2britain.com/english-castles-sightseeing-overnight-tour.htm
The Small Group Tour Experts
Curry, the O2 and Banksy – the very best of England: Tourism chiefs have come up with a roster of 101 ‘must-do’ activities
See Naples and die, goes the saying, such was the Italian city’s erstwhile fame for beauty and magnificence. Taking inspiration from such sentiments, tourism bosses in England have produced a “bucket list” of 101 things to do and see before you expire – or worse, holiday abroad.
The full list, to be revealed on Tuesday to mark St George’s Day, features staple favourites such as visits to Stonehenge, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. But it also contains some more unusual suggestions, such as rampaging around in the treetops of Sherwood Forest or going on a bat patrol.
Start the day with a full English breakfast in London’s East End, at E Pellicci, an Italian café in Bethnal Green that’s been in the same family since it opened in 1900.
Visit John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester and see 15th-century accounts of witchcraft, the oldest piece of the New Testament, and a first edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Walk across the top of the O2 in Greenwich, London. The venue is 52 metres high with a diameter of 365 metres, and people can arrange to go on the top of the dome.
Go in search of damsels and dragons – the insect variety – by visiting Wicken Fen nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, home to thousands of types of plants, otters, water voles, dragonflies and birds.
Mix martinis in James Bond’s spiritual home – Dukes Hotel in St James’s Place, London – and follow in the footsteps of the Bond author Ian Fleming, who used to drink there.
Curry is a “national treasure”, according to Visit England, who recommend visiting the Sparkhill, Balsall Heath and Moseley areas of Birmingham – Britain’s curry capital.
Have a night on the toon in Newcastle – a city with some of the “friendliest folk you’ll ever meet” say tourism bosses. Not to mention a “cool yet unpretentious arts scene”.
Take to the treetops in Sherwood Pines, Nottingham, where you can charge around almost 10 metres above the ground, and go down a 140m-long zip line between the trees.
Trawl the back streets of Bristol in search of Banksy graffiti. Stokes Croft is home to the artist’s Mild Mild West mural, and some of his earliest works can be found in Easton.
Join a bat patrol at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. With the help of an ultra-sonic bat detector, you can wander around Gough’s Cave and Cox’s Cave – home to endangered greater horseshoe bats.
No room in the 101
The list of 101 things to do was whittled down from more than a thousand nominations. Here are 10 of the more unusual ones which didn’t make the cut.
The world gravy wrestling championships – an annual highlight in the village of Stacksteads, Lancashire; a gnome reserve in Bradworthy, Devon, home to more than 2,000 gnomes. Europe’s smallest cinema – Screen 22 in Nottingham; Barter Books, Alnwick, where the “Keep Calm & Carry On” poster was re-discovered; Thrust SSC – the world’s fastest car – at Coventry Transport Museum; the SkyWalk at Blackpool Tower; Chester Clock; “glamping”; Ryde Pier (the oldest in the world); the spire at the Church of St James in Dry Doddington, which leans one degree more than the Tower of Pisa; a stay in a gipsy caravan; donkey rides in Scarborough; a speed boat ride along the Thames; Affleck’s, Manchester; the National Space Centre, Leicester; and the view from The Shard in London.
See the full list at: www.101thingsto doinengland.co.uk
The Small Group Tour Experts
Why small groups ? With a maximum group size of just 16, we keep the experience and enjoyment both as individual and as personal as possible. Typically, a group consists of half couples or friends and half individuals t alone. Our tours attract people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities but united in a desire to break away from regimented, impersonal big coach tours.
Small groups are environmentally more friendly and their effect less disruptive to local communities. It also means you get the chance to get away from crowded tourist haunts, taking scenic backroads to places you may not have heard of, but wouldn’t want to miss.
Small groups leave fewer footprints.
Luxury Travel – Choosing OUR small group tours doesn’t mean you compromise on comfort or safety. We use recent models Mercedes mini coaches (less then 3 years old) – coaches renowned for their reliability and safety, custom built to our specification for your comfort – huge panoramic windows for the very best views above the hedgerows, high backed coach seats, 3 point seat belts, air conditioned and a first class sound system
All the features of a big coach without all the passengers!
About Our Guides – Our guides are carefully selected for their personality, wide knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for our style of tours. Never boring – you will find them informative, professional but down to earth with a real passion for showing you the very best of Britain ! They pride themselves on entertaining you with tales of England’s rich history, culture and legend to ensure a memorable experience of the real England. Of course all our drivers and guides are trained to meet the high standards of the London Tourist Board’s ‘Welcome Host’ program
Affordable Quality- Relevant entrance fees are included (some tours include lunch in historic pub). – NO HIDDEN EXTRAS
We have PRIORITY ENTRANCE into all attractions. No QQQQQQ’s – more time to explore
We GUARANTEE that you wouldn’t be able to visit the same places in one day, or at a cheaper price, by raveling independently using public transport
Small groups are environmentally more friendly and their effect less disruptive to local communities
Doing it once ? Do it properly!
The Small Group Touring Experts